I purchased the broadband service yesterday. The sales person was very short with me. Did not explain anything. When I was told that the only moden in stock was the EC1705 I was fine with it. But never was told about compatability requirements. My computer runs on linux. When I got home I opened the package and soon learned that this device is not compatable with linux. Of course there is no refund on my $50 service plan and there is a 25%re-stocking fee for the modem. Needless to say, I am not happy. When I called customer support I was instructed to purchase a windows operating system. When I told him that I preferred linux he simply said that this was my choice. Now I am sure that the brroadband is good through cricket, and I will find a patch to be able to utilize my modem with linux (my brother is a programer) but it is just very frusterating.
Actually the broadband isn't very good, it's slow and it keeps disconnecting me every few minutes even though I have a strong signal. Maybe you can run Windows in a virtual machine to get it working but you might want to just give it away or sell it on ebay or craigslist and cut you loses. Their bait-n-switch ads said "unlimited" broadband for $30 a month but that only provides 1Gb of data which would only last me a couple of days of normal use so I was trying to use it just to listen to the radio but the constant disconnects make that impractical too so I'm returning it to Walmart when my data is used up.
The price you mentioned for t-mobile is the prepaid price and those are always going to be more expensive
The month by month is cheaper at 5GB for the same price you are currently paying. For a short time T-mobile had a plan that had 5GB for $40 a month but that apparently was only for a short time and is no longer offered now.
I don't understand why T-Mobile's data plans are so insanely expensive when bits don't cost anything but they cancelled most of their data plans last December. Now the only data plan they have for $40 requires a 2 yr. contract. You can't do much with just 5Gb though and I'm currently using about 11Gb a month on wi-fi but that's too slow to stream any movies or TV shows, just email and browsing the web. BTW, I was using the "Unlimited Day Pass" that costs $1.49 per day to run the tests but you only get about 30Mb with their "Unlimited" plan so it only worked at full speed for about 1/2 hr. before I was throttled back to about 60kbps.
They used to have some $40/mo no contract plans and I was originally going to get a no contract plan but they were all cancelled last December. Now all they have is a $40/mo 5Gb/mo plan that requires a 2 year contract and a pre-paid plan that gives you just 1G/mo for $50 that is insanely expensive. At that rate it would cost $200 just to watch a movie on Netflix. The plans seem to keep changing every week though.